Finding the right speargun is a crucial step in assisting your underwater hunting skills. The best spearguns will pay for themselves after a few successful shots as they will provide you and your friends or family with many dinners – and the freezer will never be empty.

But, like most investments, it’s important to research your options and understand the piece of equipment you’re purchasing. The types of fish and species you plan on hunting, as well as your hunting ability and diving/freediving capabilities will all dictate the type of speargun you buy.

Here at The Adventure Junkies, we want to make your life easier when it comes to making the big decisions regarding spearfishing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to choose the best speargun for your type of hunting and show you a selection of the best models of the year.

 

 

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIND THE BEST SPEARGUNS

PICTURE
SPEARGUN
BEST FOR
TYPE
LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
PICTURE
SPEARGUN
BEST FOR
TYPE
LENGTH
PRICE
RATING
1
JBL Woody Magnum
Overall
Band
61.3"
$$$
4.9
Mares Cyrano Evo HF
Overall
Pneumatic
35.4" to 47.3"
$$$
4.9
Mares Viper Pro
Overall
Band
29.5" to 47.2"
$$
4.8
Mares Sten
Overall
Pneumatic
16.5" to 39.4"
$$$
4.9
Beuchat Arka Competition
Budget
Band
19.7" to 39.4"
$
4.7
Cressi Comanche
Budget
Band
23.6" to 43.3"
$$
4.8
Cressi SL Star
Budget
Pneumatic
15.7" to 27.5"
$
4.7
JBL4D38
JBL Magnum 38
Beginners
Band
42.0"
$$
4.9
cressi
Cressi Apache
Beginners
Band
13.8" to 29.5"
$
4.7
Beuchat Espadon
Beginners
Band
13.8" and 19.7"
$
4.6

 

 

SPEARGUNS 101

 

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER TO FIND THE BEST SPEARGUNS

 

1. TYPE OF SPEARFISHING

The type of spearfishing you plan to do will help dictate what kind of gun you should purchase, such as whether you plan to free dive or scuba dive. Some guns have a smaller range and are less powerful, which makes them ideal for targeting reef fish or spearing in shallow areas. If you plan on shooting big game fish then you’ll need a tougher spear with a longer range that’s powerful enough to kill a large fish quickly and accurately. You don’t want a weak speargun to pierce a big fish, which may continue to swim for some time and draw out its suffering. If you’re just starting out, chances are you’ll be sticking to shallower areas and smaller fish initially.

 

2. TYPE OF SPEAR

Spear guns typically come in two different types – band or pneumatic. Early spearguns were made from thick rubber bands and wood and are still widely used today. Keep in mind that a speargun will usually affect your buoyancy underwater.

 

PNEUMATIC SPEARGUNS

The pneumatic speargun uses compressed air to fire the spear. This type of speargun is often smaller and more compact, which can be more convenient to carry around. However, they can be more difficult to load.

 

BAND SPEARGUNS

Band spearguns are quiet to use, although the rubbers usually require replacement after 6-12 months of use. It’s down to personal preference when it comes to choosing what type of spear, but band spearguns remain the most popular type of gun.

 

3. LENGTH

The length of your speargun can play a big role in your success spearfishing. For beginners, a smaller spear can be easier to handle while you are learning the mechanics and skills required for this sport. Shorter spearguns are also more ideal when swimming through caves or other tight spots. A longer spear is better suited to game fishing or “blue water hunting” – hunting in deeper waters. Longer speargun usually have a more powerful shot and longer range, which is required when hunting gamefish or other large fish species.

 

4. SHAFTS

Speargun shafts (the actual spear which is fired from the gun) vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Typically the different types of shafts include Tahitian style or Single Flopper, Double Flopper or Breakaway.

 

BREAKAWAY

The breakaways are the heaviest and are best suited for big fish.

 

TAHITIAN (SINGLE FLOPPER)

The Tahitian or Single Flopper has a single barb coming from the spear and are usually the fastest type of shaft and are ideal for reef fish. They’re also easiest to remove from a fish.

 

DOUBLE FLOPPER

The Double Flopper has two barbs on each side and is also better suited for larger species.

 

5. PRICE

Your budget is an important consideration when thinking about what speargun to purchase. If you’re only starting out, there’s probably little need to buy a high-powered top-of-the-range speargun when you’ll spending most of your time hunting off the beach. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a boat, or know someone with a boat, and you’re guaranteed to be heading into deeper waters each trip. Of course if you’ve got a bit of experience, know how to handle power underwater and are looking for some big gamefish to feed all your mates, then a more expensive speargun will no doubt pay for itself in no time.

 

what spearguns to use for spearfishing

Photo by istockphoto.com/portfolio/sergoua

 

 

SPEARGUN REVIEWS

 

1. BEST SPEARGUNS OVERALL

JBL WOODY MAGNUM

1

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Game fish

LENGTH: 61.25”

SPEAR: Bulletnose Breakaway

PROS: Powerful spear

CONS: Heavy spear, best left for those with experience

 

 

 

MARES CYRANO EVO HF

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Game fish

LENGTH: 35.43″ to 47.25″

SPEAR: Tahitian Style

PROS: Powerful, fast

CONS: Can be difficult to load

 

 

 

MARES VIPER PRO

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef fish, game fish

LEGNTH: 29.53″ to 47.24″

SPEAR: Tahitian Single Barb

PROS: Adjustable trigger pull, heavy duty

CONS: Not as powerful as other spearguns used for big game fish, but can still have some success with it, can be difficult to reload

 

 

 

MARES STEN

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef fish, game fish

LEGNTH: 16.5″ to 39.4″

SPEAR: Double barbed

PROS: Ergonomic handle, hydrodynamic muzzle, easy to load

CONS: Supplied spear very weak

 

 

 

 

2. BEST BUDGET SPEARGUNS

BEUCHAT ARKA COMPETITION

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef/shallow spearfishing

LENGTH: 19.7” to 39.4”

SPEAR: Tahitian style

PROS: Tough but lightweight, inexpensive

CONS: Cheaper materials, not as durable

 

 

 

CRESSI COMANCHE

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef spearfishing

LENGTH: 23.6″ to 43.3″

SPEAR: Single Flopper Barb Pointed Tip

PROS: Anti-corrosion aluminium tubes, easy loading, quiet

CONS: Not so good with bigger fish

 

 

 

CRESSI SL STAR

 

 

 

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef spearfishing, small to medium fish

LENGTH: 15.75″ to 27.5″

SPEAR: Unavailable

PROS: Ergonomic grip, lightweight, safety catch to prevent accidental firing, good for low visibility conditions

CONS: Spear can be tricky to attach into place

 

 

 

 

3. BEST SPEARGUNS FOR BEGINNERS

JBL MAGNUM 38

JBL4D38

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Reef spearfishing, shallow areas

LENGTH: 42″

SPEAR: Twin Spinner Rock Point

PROS: Durable speargun, quiet

CONS: Requires regular maintenance

 

 

 

CRESSI APACHE

cressi

Check out the latest price on:
LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Small to medium fish

LENGTH: 13.8″ to 29.5″

SPEAR: Tahitian style

PROS: Compact and lightweight, good entry-level spear or back up spear

CONS: Can be hard to load

 

 

 

BEUCHAT ESPADON

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon | LeisurePro

BEST FOR: Small reef fish, low visibility conditions

LENGTH: 13.8″ and 19.7″

SPEAR: Single barb

PROS: Great entry-level spear, extremely affordable, short length ideal for shallow areas or in low-vis conditions

CONS: Not powerful, won’t last long if used regularly

About The Author

Scuba & Ski Junkie

Juliette is a journalist, travel blogger, photographer, scuba diver, skier and ice figure skater from New Zealand. She feels most at home in salt water and when she can’t get to the ocean, an ice rink or ski field is the next best thing. Juliette and her husband live by the motto, "Go where there is no path and create your own."

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